Wednesday, November 06, 2002


* The Simonization of the Democratic Party. While the Democratic party certainly made some mistakes in this election, the 'solution' to the problem currently being voiced by the liberal faction is one destined to further marginalize the party. Folks tend to forget that Clinton was such a successful promoter of the Democratic party b/c he brought it to the center (towards the median voter) and enabled it to be competitive on a national level. What turned out to be a strategic blunder on message is being spun as a failure of the 'center-left' message of the moderate Democrats. California Republicans bought in to that same message (that they needed a conservative 'alternative' to Davis) in selecting Simon over Riordian (though Riordian certainly didn't help himself), and cost themselves the Governorship of the largest state in the union. If the Democrats make this same mistake, they won't have a chance next election cycle.

* The message of this mid-term election is that National Security is back as an election issue. "It's Terrorism, Stupid." could easily be the theme for the Republican gains this term. I'm not sure it is going to be a good wedge argument for the Dems to start staking out an 'alternative' position on the War (it certainly never helped them during the Cold War). The danger for the Dems is that the 'lesson' they take is the one mentioned above rather than that they simply failed to stake out a convincing alternative position on the economy.

* Along the same lines, a rising star in the Democratic Party and certainly a potential future player on the national scence is incomming Senator Mark Pryor. He askewed personal attack ads explicitly on Hutchinson...instead taking the more subtle approach of emphasizing his own family values (yes, fellow list members, it is not only Republicans that run on family values). He is an attractive, well-spoken candidate who presents a likeable image. I'd look for him to be a big player in Democratic presidential politics come 2008.

* Turnout. The Republicans certainly learned the lesson the Democrats taught them in 2000 on the importance of grassroots get-out-the-vote efforts. One explanation for the losses for the Dems is their failure to turn out the vote as well as they liked...but just as important was the ability of Republicans to turn out energized voters on the ground...something they have traditionally been unable to compete with the Democrats on.

* If the Dems replace Dick Gephardt with Palosi (sp?) in CA, a liberal representative, look for Republicans to try and woo conservative Democrats to make the party-switch (with some nice chairmanships as the kicker) and increase their margin. Furthermore, with such an ally of the Unions gone from the leadership, Hoffa's placement of the Teamsters in a more party-neutral position could become an increasing trend across the nation.

* Best Winner (D): Mark Pryor (great campaign, likeable candidate, and bad incumbant leads him to a buck-of-the-trend result)

* Worst Winner (D): Gray Davis (you get the feeling that if the Republicans had just nominated a shoe box, they could have taken CA)

* Best Winner (R): Bob Ehrlich (running against a Kennedy in a 2 to 1 Dem state and not shying away from blacks makes him a rising star)

* Worst Winner (R): Wayne Allard (Senator Dullard wins convincingly...but undoubtedly got a bump from a popular GOP governor and a high R registration in the state)


Well folks, here are the exact numbers on my predictions. If Thune looses the comming recount, then I will have missed picking the Senate perfectly by 535 votes (perhaps someone should be paying me to do this ;).

Pending the SD result (530 margin for Johnson, but it will almost
certainly go to a recount, here's how I did). (especially for KAT,
Jonathan, and Steve R.)

SENATE: 14 / 14 100.0% (changes with Thune loss/victory)
GOVERNORS: 7 / 8 87.5% (didn't go with Rommeny cause of the state...wish
I had)

> House: +4 Republican (R:227 D:208)
> Governorships: +4 Democrats (R:25 D:25)
> Senate: +3 Republicans (R:52 D:47 I:1)

The above predictions are exactly right (pending Thune loss/victory).

D.GOOCH (Today's Speical: Spiced Crow )

Monday, November 04, 2002

GOOCH Election 2002 Predictions

Are as follows (I posted these to my blog a couple of weeks ago, so with a few are my predictions):

<* means changed from two weeks ago>

House: +4 Republican (R:227 D:208)
Governorships: +4 Democrats (R:25 D:25)
Senate: +3 Republicans (R:52 D:47 I:1)

SKINNY: While the House will almost certainly remain Republican and the Democrats will almost certainly gain several governorships, the Senate remains the ultimate wildcard. The break could reach as high as +4 for the Republicans to +3 for the Democrats. Indeed, any call within that margin is just as justifiable as any other.

If Sununu goes down in NH, it's going to be a long night for the Republicans.

If Coleman pulls it out in Minnesota, those Judicial nominess of GWB can breath a sigh of relief.

However the actual distribution turns out, there are several ancilliary factors that can make this race even more interesting. The Republicans seem ready to take back Missouri...and with such a victory there could be a lame duck session that the R's could use to push some legislation/nominees through even if they do fail to take back the Senate. Also, after the Wellstone political rally debacle,
Gov. Ventura is sending an Independent to the Senate, further complicating the possible lame duck session. If the Senate splits 50-50, look for Dems to take a run at Lincoln Chaffee to switch, though reports are that R's have been wooing Chaffee (fearing another Jeffords like switch). Also, with those funky Louisiana-types, the question of actual control of the Senate may stretch (somewhat 2000 like) on in to December as both parties pour money in to the runoff race in an effort to tilt the balance. Finally, there are already wisps of election lawyering from the Democratic camp...though a race would have to be very tight (on order of 2000) in order for these rumblings to get any traction.

Talent (R) over Carnahan (D) (woohoo! My least favorite candidate looses!)

Coleman (R) over Mondale (D)* (backlash backhands Dems in squeeker)

John Coryn (R) over Ron Kirk (D) (still a Republican stronghold...for now)

Pryor (D) over Hutchinson (R)* (lesson: trumpet family values only if you've got them)

Allard (R) over Strickland (D) (Senator Dullard wins a second term)

Baucus (D) over Taylor (R) (kinda like a R from Rhode Island -> weird)

New Hampshire
Sununu (R) over Shaheen (D) (two heavyweights, but R registration wins)

Harkin (D) over Ganske (R) (another one of those schism races)

Chambliss (R) over Clealand (D) (national security trumps war record)

Alexander (R) over Clement (D) (easy win in an increasingly easy R state)

New Jersey
Lautenburg (D) over Forrester (R)* (holding my nose with this one)

North Carolina
Dole (R) over Bowles (D) (wins...but E. Dole is no Jesse Helms)

South Carolina
Graham (R) over Sanders (D) (solid conservative in a solid conservative state)

South Dakota
Thune (R) over Johnson (D) (really too close to call)

Landriu (D): plurality but below 50% (could decide the Senate in December)

Bush (R) over McBride (D) (Jeb coasts in. McBride needs to work on his math)

Davis (D) over (R) Simon (least popular victor this season)

New York
Pataki (R) over McCall (D) (a cruise control victory for this liberal R)

Perry (R) over Sanchez (D) (2020 this could be a different story)

Ehrlich (R) over Kennedy-Townsend (D) (you have to be a really bad candidate to be D and loose here)

O'Brien (D) over Rommeny (R) (too close to call, which is amazing considering the state)

Granholm (D) over Posthumus (R) (Posthumus hits the road post-haste with the
shape of an 'L' on his forehead - pick up for the Dems)

Blagojevich (D) over Ryan (R) (home of Lincoln gives way to the Dems)